Between August of 2011 and June of 2012, six people went to the hospital with internal injuries from wire bristles lodged in their necks or stomachs, according to this week’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
All six of the victims reported eating grilled food before their injuries occurred. Three of them experienced immediate pain upon swallowing the adulterated food, and were later found to have a piece of wire lodged in their throats.
These three people included one woman age 46 and two men ages 50 and 64.
The other patients — three men ages 31, 35 and 50 — experienced abdominal pain shortly after eating.
In two of these patients, the bristle was found lodged near the small intestine, having punctured the intestinal wall. Doctors performed immediate surgery on both patients to remove the foreign objects. In the other patient, the wire had not broken through the intestine but was pushing on the patient’s bladder. That wire piece was removed through a colonoscopy.
“Awareness of this potential injury among healthcare professionals is critical to facilitate timely diagnosis and treatment,” says the report.
CDC also warned the public to use caution to avoid ingesting wire bristles while grilling. Consumers should make sure to check grill surfaces for wire pieces before cooking, it says. Retailers are also urged to examine brush designs to minimize the likelihood of pieces coming loose.
Approximately 80,000 people were treated at hospitals after ingesting foreign objects in 2010, according to CDC. Before 2012, only two incidents involving ingestion of a wire bristle from a grill-cleaning brush had been reported. This most recent report indicates that this type of injury may be more common than officials initially suspected.
So far, no specific brand of grill-cleaning brush has been identified as more likely to shed bristles, but the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is currently studying data on injuries related to these products to see whether some might be more dangerous than others.© Food Safety News